Anto Cacace manager challenges BBBoC vacant title decision

The monthly British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) circular was released last week, and Belfast manager Pat Magee has described one of the board’s decisions as being “a travesty.”

Having become the European super featherweight champion last month, Martin J Ward has relinquished his British title – which he had won outright having made three successful defences.

The move from the Matchroom man left mandatory challenger Sam Bowen in need of an opponent to contest the now-vacant title.

Magee was hopeful that his man, Belfast’s Anto Cacace [16(7)-1(0)] would get the nod having lost a razor-thin and somewhat controversial decision to Ward during the Summer.

However, the BBBoC instead opted for Maxi Hughes [18(3)-3(1)-2], and the English pair are to fight for the belt by the end of May.

The choice of Hughes has left Magee shocked, and he told that “the decision by the BBCofC to favour Maxi Hughes rather than Anthony Cacace against the mandatory contender Sam Bowen is a travesty and has been challenged.”

Stating his case for ‘The Apache’, Magee outlined how “at UK level, Commonwealth level, European level, and World level Cacace is higher rated in all recognised ratings The ratings compiled by the universally recognised record keeper BoxRec illustrate this.”

“Separately the EBU rate Cacace #5 and Hughes #12. Bowen is not rated at all. Unlike the BBBoC, the EBU compile and publish transparent monthly ratings.”

“Cacace and Hughes have boxed previously for the BBBoC title in 2017 against a common opponent in Martin J Ward. Hughes lost comprehensively – by seven rounds on one card – whereas Cacace lost a disputed decision – by one round on one card.”

“Cacace has compiled a record of 16 wins and one defeat. He is the undefeated BBBoC Celtic champion.”

Indeed, aside from Hughes, Magee questioned the designation of mandatory challenger status to young hotshot Bowen.

The experienced manager noted how “Bowen was awarded the lofty status of the mandatory contender for the BBBofC title never having fought an eliminator and not having fought a British opponent in the last two years.”

“The only British opponents he has ever fought – 4 in all – in his career to date had compiled collective records of 19 wins and 112 defeats!”

With their preferred British title route closed off and Ward electing to hold onto the Commonwealth title, Cacace will most likely now look elsewhere.

29 next month, the Andersonstown fighter is ranked at #5 and #6 with the EBU in Europe and the EU respectively.

Cacace kept sharp last month with a dominant six-round points win over Reynaldo Mora in Birmingham.


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: